Funding boost for local authority enforcement
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has announced that £3.8 million has been made available from the Innovation and Enforcement Grant Fund to help local authorities tackle rogue landlords. The funding follows on from a previous grant of £2.4 million that helped deliver 56 targeted projects, which benefited the enforcement work of over 100 local authorities.
The Innovation and Enforcement Grant Fund is aimed at raising the standards in the private rented sector (PRS) by supporting local authorities execute their duties and enhance on-going PRS enforcement. The grants are awarded to help foster innovative and proactive approaches towards enforcement, with the expectation that schemes can be scaled-up and replicated in different local authorities.
MHCLG confirmed that it would be encouraging local authorities to focus their bids on solutions which will positively affect:
- Data sharing between different authorities and agencies to carry out effective, intelligence-led enforcement to identify criminal landlords and protect vulnerable tenants.
- Intelligence gathering on housing stock and on landlords and agents to enable effective and targeted enforcement
- Knowledge sharing between local authorities with well-resourced and experienced enforcement teams and those with smaller teams which lack capacity.
- Sharing best practice and examples of cross-agency working where it has been effectively employed.
- Empowering tenants to make good use of their rights.
- Supporting good landlords through engagement, training and knowledge sharing to support them in providing decent, well-maintained homes for tenants.
Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association, says:
"We welcome the news that more funding will be made available for councils in England to crack down on landlords who break the law and provide inadequate services to tenants.
"That being said, the offer of £3.8 million to be spread across around 100 of the 343 local authorities is simply not enough. Local authorities need far more substantial and consistent support and funding to be able to enforce properly in the PRS and rid the sector of the criminals operating within it.”
Local authorities will have until 1 December to submit their bids and the successful schemes will be required to spend their allocation by 31 March 2020. Further information about the grant can be accessed here.